Tag Archives: Bird bath

Birds in Winter

A male Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes caro...

Red-bellied Woodpecker

I spotted a pair of crows ( or where they ravens?),  pecking away at the frozen surface of my bird bath trying, no doubt, to extract water from its depths to no avail.   I had forgotten how important fresh water is for the birds in winter.  I made a note to myself to look into a bird bath heater.  According to Cornell Lab of Ornithology, once you have incorporated a bird bath to your habitat, it is likely that they will keep coming back thought the winter months looking for water in that location.  I will let you know what I come up with.

Here in Western Pennsylvania we have a wide variety of birds that stay during the winter.  As a participant of the Great Backyard Bird Count, I have observed more than 36 different species in my backyard feeder alone.  In addition to our regular winter birds, I enjoy a breeding pair of Red Tailed Hawks that regularly patrol the feeders, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, and my favorite, the Red-bellied Woodpeckers,  often visit the suet blocks.  Another source of food for the winter birds, are the seed heads  of Rudbeckias such as Black-eyed Susan and Echinacea like the Purple coneflower. I keep one feeder full in the winter months specially when snow blankets all vegetation,  this is when the birds have the hardest time finding food.

I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs.  ~Joseph Addison, The Spectator, 1712